The Bahrain GT Festival will take place on November 25th and 26th. This inaugural end-of-year event for GT cars competing in the various Championships around the world should see a grid of nearly 50 cars compete at the Bahrain International Circuit, in its first major international event since hosting the Formula One Grand Prix at the brand-new circuit.
Unfortunately, a small number of cars from the FIA GT Championship, which were due to take part in the event, have been unable to reach Bahrain in time after the final round of the season in China, due to problems with a cargo plane and customs difficulties. At this busy time of the year, despite everyone's best efforts, it proved impossible to get the cars transported in time.
Nevertheless, there is still an exceptional grid of 48 international competitors to take part in the Bahrain GT Festival. They will be joined by a separate field of nearly 20 historic cars, which will take part in their own races.
Teams, cars and drivers from around the world will be taking part in the GT1 class. Coopers Racing, from Australia, enters a Ferrari 550 Maranello for David Brabham, up against Chrysler Viper and Saleen cars entered by teams from the French GT Championship, such as DDO, Force One Racing and Larbre Competition, cars from Britain and new entrant Wieth Racing, from Germany, with their Ferrari 550 Maranello in the hands of former FIA GT race-winners Kaufmann and Haupt.
In GT2, teams from the British and French Championships include a mix of Porsche 996 GT3 cars, Ferrari 360 Modena and Lamborghini GTR, along with a Mosler MT 900 R, a Harrier, Toyota and BMW M3. GT3, the most numerous class, has an enticing mix of cars, including the Belgian Racing Vertigo Gillet, with Bas Leinders at the wheel, a variety of Porsche cars, Lamborghini Diablo GTR models -- including one in the hands of triple GT Champion Christophe Bouchut -- a Pro-Sport, Panoz, Viper, Morgan and Marcos.
The Bahrain International Circuit is 5.411 km long, with a total of 14 corners, six to the left and eight to the right. The main straight is 1090 m long.
It was inaugurated earlier this year, and is hosting a GT race for the first time; next year, it plans to host a round of the FIA GT Championship
The GT Festival will take the form of three 35-minute races and a final race, which will be one hour long. Each car must have two drivers, and each driver must take the start of two races. The final will include a driver change, between the 23rd and 37th minute.
The Historic races follow the same format, with two 35-minute qualifying races, and one one-hour final
A cavalcade and GT car show will take place on Wednesday 24th November. The cars will leave the circuit to be displayed at the Seef mall during the afternoon, with autograph sessions, simulated pit stops and other animations due to take place.